Staff Picks

A Little Sound Advice

I hate driving. Driving is what I loathe most about adult life. Driving bores me. Cars bore me. The radio bores me. Sitting bores me. I could go on, but I will instead share another charming detail about myself.

I am picky. And I am incredibly, words-cannot-describe picky about what I listen to when I do the things that I hate. Ahem, driving. There was a low point in my life, not at all long ago, when I’d scan radio stations looking for something that I could comfortably ignore.

This is no longer the case.

Chris Silas Neal

Now, I am indebted to the skilled voice actors and writers whose words have filled regular commutes and sporadic road trips with actual joy.  I still think about the first time an audiobook compelled me to sit in my car -- engine off, my destination reached -- and just listen.  At the time, Gone Girl, written by Gillian Flynn and read by Kirby Heyborne and Julia Whelan, occupied my car’s CD drive.  Since then, many other audiobooks have cornered me into what NPR has so rightly termed “driveway moments.”

If you’re stuck in a commuter’s rut or have a long family drive on the calendar this summer, think about inspiring your own driveway moment with an audiobook from Des Plaines Public Library. Here are some excellent resources to discover your first (or next!) great listen:

NoveList Plus logo

NoveList Plus

You may already use NoveList Plus to look up the next book in your favorite series or to find a solid read-alike for a novel you adore. But did you know that in May 2014 NoveList rolled out listen-alikes and audio recommendations?

Arm Chair Audies logo

Award Winners

Award-winning audiobooks, vetted by a panel of judges, rarely disappoint. The big winner of the 2014 Audies was Still Foolin' 'em, which took home the Narration by the Author, Humor, and Audiobook of the Year Awards. Looking at finalists and past award winners is never a bad idea. That's how I came into some of my favorites like World War Z, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Bossypants, and Eleanor and Park.

SYNC Audiobooks logo

SYNC Audiobooks

Intended for young adult listeners, but accessible by all, SYNC Audiobooks offers two free audiobook downloads each week throughout the summer. These pre-selected options may serve as a good starting point in the world of audio, and you can conveniently download them from home.

Audiobook REX on iPhone

Audiobook REX

A free app that provides you with weekly audio suggestions, sorted by genres and subjects. It is also easy to look through the selections in a web browser on your desktop.

Never hesitate to ask at the Readers' Services desk for help finding an audiobook.  Some of our recent staff listens include The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a delightful tale about unexpected relationships, second chances, and, best of all, books; Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, which delves into both the manufacturing and marketing techniques behind processed foods; Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President, an intriguing account of James Garfield's life; A Tale for the Time Being, a piece of literary fiction that carries and connects two distinct narratives; and Death Without Company, a genre-blending western and mystery. 

Happy Audiobook Month!

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